The Truth of the Matter — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

Let’s admit it, truth is a slippery topic. Gandhi lived by the Hindu dictum: “God is Truth.” Al Haqq, or The Truth, is one of the 99 Divine Names of God in Islam. We all know that truth is important. However, there are so many aspects to truth, and we don’t all agree on what truth is, although most of us recognize and abhor falsehood when we encounter it. If this seems contradictory, please read on.

The Source of Abundance – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“We have bestowed upon you the source of abundance. So to your Sustainer turn in prayer and sacrifice.” (Qur’an 108:1-2)

“Do not barter away your bond with God for a trifling gain!” (Qur’an 16:95)

I am fascinated by all the verses in the Qur’an that use economic metaphors when talking about our relationship with Allah.

The Source of Abundance — Commentary by A. Helwa

“We have bestowed upon you the source of abundance. So to your Sustainer turn in prayer and sacrifice.” (Qur’an 108:1-2)

“Do not barter away your bond with God for a trifling gain!” (Qur’an 16:95)

Within the Qur’an resides all the answers to the soul’s questions of how to approach and experience God. The Qur’an is not just a collection of rules and regulations, but is, as Imam Ali describes, “An ocean whose depth shall not be fathomed; a spring that shall not be exhausted by those who draw from it.”

The Source of Abundance

“We have bestowed upon you the source of abundance. So to your Sustainer turn in prayer and sacrifice.” (Qur’an 108:1-2)

“Do not barter away your bond with God for a trifling gain!” (Qur’an 16:95)

The Qur’an tells us that we humans made a sacred covenant with our Creator before descending on earth. We testified that we would worship only God. The holy book further explains that our journey in Islam is about surrendering attachment to the ego that idolizes money, power and status.

The Mystery of Opposites — Commentary by A. Helwa

“And of everything we have created opposites, so that you might bear in mind that God alone is one.” (Qur’an 51:49)

“Nothing can be clear without a polar opposite.” (Rumi)

Allah is that which unites yes with no, for in His singularity all duality is mysteriously united. Allah is both the bridge between the unseen and seen realms and the meeting point between existence and nonexistence.

The Mystery of Opposites

“And of everything we have created opposites, so that you might bear in mind that God alone is one.” (Qur’an 51:49)

“Nothing can be clear without a polar opposite.” (Rumi)

Allah is that which unites yes with no, for in His singularity all duality is mysteriously united. Allah is both the bridge between the unseen and seen realms and the meeting point between existence and nonexistence.

Praise and Thanksgiving — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“Are you not aware that it is God whose limitless glory all creatures in the heavens and on earth praise, even the birds as they outspread their wings?” (Qur’an 24:41-42)

“To God belong the most Beautiful Names.” (Qur’an 7:180)

We tend to think that only human beings can praise God, maybe because we think of praise as being expressed in words. Praise and gratitude are often expressed in words, but that is certainly not the only, nor even the most powerful way, they can be expressed.

Praise and Thanksgiving — Commentary by A. Helwa

“Are you not aware that it is God whose limitless glory all creatures in the heavens and on earth praise, even the birds as they outspread their wings?” (Qur’an 24:41-42)
“To God belong the most Beautiful Names.” (Qur’an 7:180)
Gratitude is not an emotion; it is more a state of the mind and heart. States of mind are different than emotions because they are like channels on a radio that we can consciously choose to dial into.

Praise and Thanksgiving

“Are you not aware that it is God whose limitless glory all creatures in the heavens and on earth praise, even the birds as they outspread their wings?” (Qur’an 24:41-42)

“To God belong the most Beautiful Names.” (Qur’an 7:180)

In Islamic spiritual literature, there is a classic story of God who appeared to some birds and spoke to them. Birds initially were creatures without wings.